Book 1: we reach the same end by discrepant means; on idleness; on punishing cowardice; on fear; to philosophize is to learn how to die; on educating children; that it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities; on the cannibals; judgements on God's ordinances must be embarked upon with prudence; on solitude; on prayer; on the length of life. Book 2: on the inconstancy of our actions; on drunkenness; on conscience; on the affection of fathers for their children; on cruelty; in defence of Seneca and Plutarch; on three good wives; on the resemblance of children to their fathers. Book 3: on repenting; on three kinds of social intercourse; on some lines of Virgil; on coaches; on the lame; on experience.
Born in 1533, Montaigne studied law and spent a number of years working as a counsellor before devoting his life to reading, writing and reflection. He died in 1586. Dr M.A. Screech is regarded as the world's greatest authority on Montaigne.